Five stories that have North Texas talking: The fabric of Texas isn’t solid red; Ted Cruz gained another high-ranking official’s endorsement; Texas outdoes itself with new wind energy record; the smells of Dallas abound; and more.
Twelve states will vote for a Republican and Democratic nominee on March 1, known as Super Tuesday. As the second-most populous state in the country, Texas will allocate the most delegates —155 Republican and 252 Democratic — making it the largest Super Tuesday prize for presidential hopefuls.
This fact prompted reporters from The Guardian to touch base with Texas and find out what and how the state really thinks. The Guardian will publish subsequent stories on Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia for a week-long series about “southern thought.”
The Guardian reported:
“For two decades Texas has been the reddest of red Republican supporting states. Four of the current and former 2016 Republican candidates – Cruz, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina – grew up here. And as in many other places, Texas’s congressional seats took a hard right turn in 2014. But encircling the state’s most important cities, there’s a new blossom of blue: formerly conservative suburbs are shifting left, as their ethnic and ideological makeup changes.”
The reporters visited possibly the most diverse suburb in the U.S. — Irving — and realized Texas has several areas that show a different side of the state:
“The leftward, diversifying trajectory is happening in other places across Texas. Key suburbs around San Antonio, Houston and Austin are shifting, as more immigrants and people from elsewhere in the US move to the area. After spending some time in those places, it becomes easier to remember that before it was the biggest Republican state, Texas was the biggest Democratic state.”
Read more on the reporters’ experience discovering Texas, and how its voice could wield significant power in the primary race. [The Guardian]
- Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed Ted Cruz for president Wednesday. Cruz now has the stamp of approval from the state's highest-ranking official along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, former Gov. Rick Perry as well as “roughly a quarter of the Republicans representing Texas in Congress and nearly half of the GOP members of the state Legislature,” according to the Texas Tribune. “Abbott's endorsement comes as Cruz faces serious competition on his home turf from billionaire Donald Trump, who continues to rack up wins as Cruz promises a strong showing on March 1.” Read more. [Texas Tribune]
- Fresh strawberries, bachelor bats and other strange things that come with a mild winter. The warm temperatures this season have affected the state in many ways. The Texas Standard mentioned a few. For one, bats living under the Ann Richards Bridge in Austin, a typical summer attraction, have been particularly active during the warm winter nights. And a farmer in Fredericksburg took a chance on planting strawberries in the off-season, and he’s now reaping in the rewards by the thousands. Learn more about the unusual ways climate change is affecting Texas. [Texas Standard]
- Texas set a new record for generating high wind energy recently. Scientific American reported: “On [Feb. 18] at 9:20 p.m., Texas wind was responsible for generating 14,023 Megawatts (MW) of power. This value was a new record, surpassing the previous peak of 13,883 MW of wind power that was seen on December 20, 2015.” Several points throughout the evening, wind energy powered 45 percent of the state grid’s power needs. According to Scientific American, “While wind power production peaked in the evening on Feb. 18, the Texas wind supplied in the neighborhood of 40 percent of electricity demand in the Texas grid throughout the day.” Read more about the latest milestone. [Scientific American]
- What smells make you think, “Ah, Dallas”? GuideLive answered the question with 14 smells that are “quintessentially Dallas,” which means there are a few not-so-pleasant aromas —cough, cough, The Trinity River. A few others that made the list: the array of trees, bushes and flowers at The Dallas Arboretum, the “magical mixture of manure, hay, sweat and happiness” at the State Fair of Texas and the musty pages of a Half Price Books find. What does the eau de Dallas smell like to you? See the full list. [GuideLive]